Eleven Academy Affiliate Players Selected for U12 Sporting KC Academy Team

Last month, the Sporting Kansas City Academy announced its newest U12 team, featuring 16 of the top 12-and-under boys from the Kansas City metro and surrounding states. Eleven of those players join the Academy directly from a Sporting KC Academy Affiliate club.


The Academy Affiliate clubs represented include Sporting Blue Valley, Sporting Columbia, Sporting Missouri Valley, Sporting Springfield and Sporting Wichita.


“Congratulations to the 11 Academy Affiliate club players that were selected to the U12 SKC Academy team,” Sporting KC Vice President of Youth Business Development Dan Popik said. “This is also a credit to our Academy Affiliate clubs, who year over year develop players to represent the Sporting KC Academy teams.”


The 2022 Academy class includes the second-most Academy Affiliate players selected, after only the U13s, which currently rosters 17 Academy Affiliate players. Through all six Academy teams, there are a total of 55 Affiliate players that hail from 10 different Academy Affiliate clubs.


“It is such a great relationship and program in our backyard. It just shows with the numbers we have in our system now from the Affiliate program, the job the Affiliate programs are doing developing players at a young age,” Christian Duke, U12 Head Coach, said.


Since 2007, the Sporting KC Academy has utilized MLS’s Homegrown initiative to identify and develop the top young players from around the Midwest. The Sporting KC Academy currently consists of six boys’ teams at the U19, U17, U15, U14, U13, and U12 age levels. In the Academy’s 15-year history, it has produced a total of 18 Homegrown Players who have been signed to the Sporting KC First Team.


Established in 2011, the SKC Youth Academy Affiliate program has grown to include 17 youth soccer clubs across eight states. The Academy Affiliate program offers player development pathway opportunities, coaching education, specialized events and experiences and unparalleled access to the professional club.

2022 U12 Academy Affiliate Players Selected:

Sporting Blue Valley: Brady Cowen, Blake Hannagan, Luca Pore, Jack Richter, Kainan Capps

Sporting Columbia: Brayden Drewing, Layne Meyer

Sporting Missouri Valley: Aiden Pardo 

Sporting Springfield: Josmain Delgado, Cristian Ponce

Sporting Wichita: Daniel Martinez

For more information on the Academy Affiliate program, visit SportingKCYouth.com/AcademyAffiliates.